Scandal Recap: No Valor, No Virtue

Sally blames the devil. Fitz has a temper tantrum. Olivia’s makeup is flawless. And Mellie is the prettiest psychopath ever. 

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope ABC

Grab your sunglasses and Advil. Because last night’s episode was mad real. After a two-and-a-half-month hiatus, “Ride, Sally, Ride” was a reminder of why we’re all still cliff-jumping, die-hard gladiators.

At the very top of the episode, Vice President Sally Langston announces her plan to run against Fitz in the upcoming election. Olivia, Cyrus and Mellie gear up to tear her down after she resigns, only to be blindsided by her decision to remain vice president until the end of her term! Naturally, they all lose their minds and promptly ask Sally to get a life.

Cue Fitz’s temper tantrum. If you’ve never seen a grown man cry, this is pretty close to it. Fitz then announces that he wants a new vice president ASAP, and he wants it to be his old lieutenant governor bestie Andrew Nichols. We later learn in a shocking twist that Andrew never got married because he let the love of his life—Mellie!—get away. Real talk, though: Mellie has had a rough couple of years, and I’m all for her getting some of that good-good.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Harrison tries to keep Adnan Salif out of the country, but it’s too late! Adnan is already here! And instead of being a scary terrorist man, she’s a hot lady woman he pulls a gun on and then immediately starts making out with! They have scary, steamy gun sex! And not to be outdone, Quinn “the Most Basic” Perkins seems to have found a boyfriend of sorts in Charlie, who framed her for murder but is now promising to get her a job at B613, since she’s obviously no longer welcome at OPA. She and her murderer boo do normal couple stuff like getting hired by Cyrus to kidnap the son of the coroner who destroyed Daniel Douglas Langston’s autopsy report.

The most memorable moment of last night’s episode came when Olivia meets Papa Pope in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial to, I guess, comfort him in a nonhugging, quasi-loving way about losing his job as command. They reminisce about how much they like the quote on the monument—“Uncommon valor was a common virtue”—a wonderfully ironic quote, since both of them (and everyone else, for that matter) have been pretty shady lately.

There seems to be a common thread that runs through the OPA and White House crew, and that is one of intended good. Everyone seems to want to be good and do good, but they continue to use the most selfish, deceitful and destructive ways to go about doing so. But I’ve watched enough Oprah and Iyanla to know that I should trust people’s actions more than their words.

Last night’s episode had some of the best dialogue in prime time. Here’s a list of the quotes that demonstrated just how little valor and virtue there is to go around.  

“Who’s to say that President Grant had just one mistress?” —Campaign manager Leo during on-camera roundtable with Abby

Sally’s campaign manager is not holding back. He surprises Abby by bringing back the possibility that Olivia is the president’s mistress in an attempt to cement Sally’s position as a solid opponent in the upcoming election.

“I’m making a respectable woman out of you, Olivia.” —Mellie to Olivia